January 11, 2004
Today our excursion delved into the worlds of literature and art. Our first stop was at the Hugh Lane Gallery of art. I was a bit disappointed by this visit. Our tour guide through the gallery was a bit obnoxious and wouldn't shut up long enough to let us look at the art for ourselves. When I'm looking at art, I like to experience it for myself and draw my
| || |
own conclusions about it. I don't like someone to stand over me and tell me what I should see or conclude from it. We were suppose to see the Francis Bacon exhibit, but the gallery was also hosting a violin concert, so we had to leave before getting to see any of the exhibit.
I really enjoyed the next stop at the Dublin Writers Museum. We learned more about the writers we were studying like Synge, Gogarty, and Pearse. The tour helped to put their works in context for me. The James Joyce Centre was also enjoyable. The Centre houses the Guinness reference library, which has works of Joyce in several different languages. Our tour guide was very enthusiastic about her job and very forthcoming with opinions. Something that I found interesting and that perhaps highlighted the Irish approach to art, was her take on Joyce's only living relative, Stephen Joyce. She was very direct on this subject, and she said that he was a greedy man and only wanted to make money from James Joyce. Stephen does not approve of the Centre and what they do, but the guide expressed her view that the art belongs to the people and everyone deserves the right to enjoy it.